LaVerne Mullen (nee Kratzke) passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 surrounded by her loving family. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gustav Fredrik Louis and Mabel Malinda Kratzke (nee Peltz), and brothers Warren and Earl Kratzke.
She is survived by her loving husband of 57 1/2 years, Richard; children Dawn (Kent) Summerfield; Lee, and Fay; grandchildren Douglas (Melissa) Summerfield, Janice (Jeremy) Duncan, and Daniel (Becky) Summerfield; and great-grandchildren McKenzie, Garrett, Campbell, Elliot and Malcolm; sisters Joy Johnson, Faith (Charles) Anderson, and Aletha Haugen; and brother-in-law, Robert (Jeanne) Mullen; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
LaVerne will be remembered for her beautiful sense of style, her passion for art and travel, her enjoyment of skiing and swimming, and her love of people. LaVerne recounted many stories of sibling antics, hard work, and love, growing up on the family dairy farm near Waconia. She had happy memories of her early years in country, parochial, and Waconia High School where she was homecoming queen and a 1946 graduate. She also worked her way through college, and graduated with many lifelong friends and fond memories from the Minneapolis School of Art in 1950. She was employed by North Western Bell as a professional artist, where she met Richard Mullen “in the Yellow Pages.” After she fulfilled a dream to travel to Europe, she married Richard on Sept. 10, 1955. LaVerne designed, drew the plans, and with Richard, spent many years building and decorating their home on Grey Cloud Island. She spent 21 years primarily raising her children and was their greatest supporter! She and Richard imparted the love of the river and travel to their children; they spent many weekends boating, and summer vacations traveling around the country. In her recent years, LaVerne was a frequent local and international traveler. Her most memorable trip was to Israel; the spiritual journey augmented her deep knowledge of her savior Jesus, and the Bible. She also had fond memories of the time she served in Bible Study Fellowship as a children’s leader. She greatly enjoyed her friends in her many community activities. She anticipated with great delight visits from her children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren. She was always up for an adventure with them; from swimming, skiing and cabin trips, to the science museum and Dayton’s Tea Room adventures.
While she will be greatly missed, her family will cherish those many adventures and fond memories with her.